Being an adult with responsibilities sucks!

 

With Storm not being in a fit state to be ridden, I have been “quietly” looking for a horse to ride.

I was offered the ride on a wonderful, well-trained mare. I was soooooo excited. I had a plan for when I would ride, what shows I wanted to enter, which stable she would go in… I knew it would be tight to fit everything into my day, but I was going to go for it!

Then, my youngest got a virus, nothing too serious, but he needed all my attention. That spare hour before bed was gone, well to be honest; sleep was gone for a couple of days there. This made me think…  If one of the children was ill, or I was ill, what would happen to my meticulously planned riding schedule?

Well, it would have gone out of the window, and I would have sucked it up, because I am a parent, and because my children need me.

Being a parent is a juggling act at best, and adding in horses, adds a whole new bucket load of balls to throw up in the air and try to catch.

I read a lot of articles on ”How I make it work! “ and to be honest, I would like to call “Bu*****t” on them. If you have children, they need to be your first priority. They are only children for a short time, be present, and there for them. There will be other shows, other horses when you have time to fully focus. But for now, enjoy the children, enjoy the ride on your horse when you have the opportunity, but don’t put yourself under so much pressure that you are paralysed by the stress and find enjoyment is gone from both.

I am not giving up on my ambitions or dreams, I am admitting I have responsibilities to my family which need to be taken care of first, and this is what being a parent is about. As my time permits, I will ride, train, and coach, and I will make sure I am also taking care of “me”. The dressage ring will still be there when the children are adults in their own right!

PS: If you have a significant other, then remember that relationship is important to, because if you are sick, the horses still need to be fed! 😛

Being responsible

So, I was standing with the vet, my farrier and Storm. We all had that look of “despair” that only comes with not really knowing how to help your animal friend.

Storm is suffering right now, his main symptom is sleep deprivation caused by anxiety. He is being looked after to the best of our abilities. He is well fed, with a nice grassy paddock, next to other horses, and gets fussed over by us on a regular basis. He is not starving or mistreated; he has a safe home, and will always be cared for. While, I find it upsetting and worrisome that he is not happy, I know he is in a safe place until he crosses the “Rainbow bridge”.

For this I am very grateful.  Not all horses are so lucky.

Horses are a luxury, are expensive, and time consuming. I see so many horses for sale with comments like:

  • “Due to life change….”
  • “Due to going to school…..”
  • “Old Companion horse ….”
  • “With a sad heart….”
  • “Rider not able to fulfil horse potential…”

What happens in the long run to these horses that get passed on?  Hopefully they find good loving homes, where they are correctly cared for. This does not always happen.

Thanks to the “wonders” of the internet, I see so many animals that have been abused, starved and let down by their human caretakers. I know that life is not perfect, and sometimes, your only option is to sell. Is possible, make sure you know where that animal is, and with whom.  If the new owner does not agree to let you know how the animal is, then be suspicious.

Currently shelters and rescues are overflowing, and this is due partly to animals being bred because someone thought it would be a “good idea”.

If you decide to bred, ask yourself why?

What is the plan for the foal? (Or for that matter, puppies, kittens, goats or any other pet animal you may have?  )

Do you have the time, money, expertise and experience to raise a horse that will be a good citizen, and if the worse happens and you have to sell, will they have a chance of finding a good home?  A poorly bred horse, which bad conformation, and no training is at even higher risk of ending up in a bad situation that a horse that has good training and a “leg at each corner”.

For my part, I bred storm, and this is what I did to help ensure he would have a good start in life:

  • Made sure my mare was up to it. She was grading with the British Sports horse Registry, and was awarding good marks.
  • I chose a well-known stallion, standing at a reputable stud.
  • He was registered and got a passport
  • Made sure I was financially stable, and had an income that would allow for the keep of an additional horse
  • Made sure there was an emergency vet fund. Insurance can be beneficial, but make sure you have appropriate coverage

Please, just be honest with yourself about the reason you wish to bred.